Apple on Tuesday rolled out security updates to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and Safari web browser to address a new zero-day vulnerability that could result in the execution of malicious code.
Tracked as CVE-2022-42856, the issue has been described by the tech giant as a type confusion issue in the WebKit browser engine that could be triggered when processing specially crafted content, leading to arbitrary code execution.
The company said it's "aware of a report that this issue may have been actively exploited against versions of iOS released before iOS 15.1."
While details surrounding the exact nature of the attacks are unknown as yet, it's likely that it involved a case of social engineering or a watering hole to infect the devices when visiting a rogue or legitimate-but-compromised domain via the browser.
It's worth noting that every third-party web browser that's available for iOS and iPadOS, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, and others, is required to use the WebKit rendering engine due to restrictions imposed by Apple.
Credited with discovering and reporting the issue is Clément Lecigne of Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG). Apple noted it addressed the bug with improved state handling.
The update, which is available with iOS 15.7.2, iPadOS 15.7.2, macOS Ventura 13.1, tvOS 16.2, and Safari 16.2, arrives two weeks after Apple patched the same bug in iOS 16.1.2 on November 30, 2022.
The fix marks the resolution of the tenth zero-day vulnerability discovered in Apple software since the start of the year. It's also the ninth actively exploited zero-day flaw in 2022 -
- CVE-2022-22587 (IOMobileFrameBuffer) – A malicious application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges
- CVE-2022-22594 (WebKit Storage) – A website may be able to track sensitive user information (publicly known but not actively exploited)
- CVE-2022-22620 (WebKit) – Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution
- CVE-2022-22674 (Intel Graphics Driver) – An application may be able to read kernel memory
- CVE-2022-22675 (AppleAVD) – An application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges
- CVE-2022-32893 (WebKit) – Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution
- CVE-2022-32894 (Kernel) – An application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges
- CVE-2022-32917 (Kernel) – An application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges
- CVE-2022-42827 (Kernel) – An application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges
The latest iOS, iPadOS, and macOS updates also introduce a new security feature called Advanced Data Protection for iCloud that expands end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to iCloud Backup, Notes, Photos, and more.